25 May, 2010

Handmade Beginnings Blog Tour and Giveaway

I was incredibly excited and flattered to be asked to participate in Anna Maria's Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby blog tour.  There may, just possibly, have been skipping down the hallway.  In addition to this review there is of course the book to be given away, and there will hopefully be a Q & A with Anna at some point (Quilt Market has kind of gotten in the way of that a bit).

Book cover

I have her previous book Seams to Me and it's a tough act to follow, but when Handmade Beginnings arrived I wasn't disappointed!  Now I have to admit that the fact it was a book about sewing for babies didn't thrill me to bits as I've unfortunately done my dash in that regard (having babies that is!) so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it all.  But!

First off yes, it's a book about sewing for babies, but in a very inclusive way. You don't have to be the mama or even family as many of the items would make fabulous gifts from a friend.  What I especially liked though, was the way the book strives to include the whole family in the process of having a new baby, whether it's the first or sixth!  When I think about other baby books I've read in this vein, that aspect seems (now) to be sorely lacking as they focus solely on the mother and baby.  What you get in this book are projects that include dad, siblings and the house, as well as mum and baby.  I think the only ones missing out might be the cat and dog ;)  The other thing that particularly struck me was that so many of the projects don't have to be about a baby.  Obviously the baby clothes are but the maternity clothes are specifically designed to be used pre- and post-baby, and the home decor items are obviously very flexible in terms of use.  So if you think you might have some sewing for other people's babies in your future but are thinking "what's in it for me?" then I can tell you "plenty!"

So here are some of my favourite projects. Let's start off with the baby stuff:

Cute as a button booties

These booties are so adorable.  In order to be a good blog tour host I had planned to make a pair for my new nephew and show them off here.  I cut everything out on Sunday and ironed the outer fabric pieces before I started sewing.  I took the ironed pieces and...well I put them somewhere and I haven't been able to find them!  Literally 5 minutes later I was searching around and it's 2 days later and they still haven't shown up. And yes, I've checked the fridge and rubbish!  After waiting a couple days to see if they turned up somewhere incredibly stupid I recut the pieces and started sewing this afternoon. So far so good and I'll get pics up as soon as I can.  Anyone want to take bets on where I put those bits of fabric?  Ummm yeah, so really cute booties and I love the way they're constructed, a bit out of the ordinary way of these things.



Everyone's been showing this jacket photo and it's not surprising considering how cute that wee boy is!  I'd like to try making it for either my niece or nephew but need to do some measuring.


Quick change trousers

These pants are super-cute as well, I like the way you can mix and match fabrics to your heart's content or just go one colour each side and still get that flash of the other side on the cuffs.

One thing I really noticed when Hazel was born was how easily Mat got sidelined if we didn't pay attention to him being actively involved.  Now I'm not saying he would have actually used a Dad Bag if I'd made one but I think chances are he might have (he does love his 'European Man's Carry-all') and it would have made him feel pretty pro while he was at it.

Dad bag


Now this is one of those neat pre- and post-baby items that I love

Mariposa dress

Lovely maternity dress or top (it does both).  I like the clean lines and the fabric looks great.  But you say you're not planning on being pregnant any time soon?  Well look at this!

Mariposa dress 2

A non-maternity version (also good for bfing on the fly) and I'm looking forward to making it.  Check out Meg's version over at Sew Liberated.

I love some of the little toys too, the stacking boxes are particularly cute

Nesting

although the first thing Hazel asked when she saw that photo was if I could make her the dog and I had to tell her that the pattern wasn't in the book. There was some displeasure expressed at that.

There are also toys for the older children like this swaddled doll that comes with nappies

Swaddled baby love

Although there are lovely quilts in this book (see other blogs on the tour for reviews of those) I actually like the simplicity of the little mini-quilt that comes with this project, particularly done up in those gorgeously lush fabrics.

The Daydreams mobile would look lovely in any room, or just the shade on its own

Daydreams mobile


I also loved these embroidered letters, they lend themselves to so many uses and spots in the house

Writing on the wall

The detail on the B is wonderful

B detail


Thanks to the lovely people at Wiley Publishing (and they really are lovely!) I have a copy of Handmade Beginnings to give away. I'm going to limit it to New Zealand and Australian residents only for oh, a variety of reasons, but the rest of the world won't be left out as there's lots of copies to be had from earlier stops on the tour. US residents can enter into the sweeps for a really great prize: a Singer Confidence 7470 sewing machine, 5 yards of Anna Maria Horner fabric, and a copy of the book Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby.  Between sweeps like that and Anthropologie, you guys really do make the rest of the world want to emmigrate sometimes.

If you'd like to enter to win a copy of the book all you need to do is leave a comment below and make sure you put your email into either the Disqus form or in the body of the comment.  I will use the random entry picker commonly known as Hazel to choose the winner from a hat on Monday 31st at 3pm NZ time, when she gets back from créche.  She's been asking me when she'll be able to do that again for ages!

For more reviews check out the other participants on the blog tour.

May 3  Craft
May 4  Indie Fixx
May 5  Sew Mama Sew
May 6  Pink Chalk Studio
May 10  Wise Craft
May 14  House on Hill Road
May 16  The Purl Bee
May 18  All Buttoned Up
May 19  Alabama Chanin Journal
May 20  Homemade by Jill
May 21  True Up
May 22  Oh, Fransson!
May 23  Prudent Baby
May 24  Sew Liberated
May 25  Handmade by Alissa
May 26  Hazelnuts
May 27  Petite Purls

84 comments:

  1. Hi Jacqui, I would love a copy of this book, those embroidered letters are a great idea, my mind is buzzing already!

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  2. Yip I would have been skipping down the hallway too, I have seen this book all over blogland lately and I really really really really need to get a copy of this book. So my fingers and toes are crossed that Hazel picks my name :)

    P.S Cracked up about losing the ironed pieces, that is totally something that I would do too ;)

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  3. Pick me pick me, Hazel. I've entered almost all the book tour comps, in the hopes of winning.

    At first I was thinking 'oh, another baby book', but you (+ the other bloggy ladies) have convinced me otherwise. I love that maternity dress - think I can do it with just my regular "post-baby" tummy. (you know, 3+ years post baby....).

    Thanks for the excellent review and all those yummy pics. Love Anna Maria!
    And thanks for looking after us NZ + Aust bloggers only, does sometimes seem like we do miss out on a fair bit way over here, doesn't it.

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  4. Hi Jacqui, very exciting that you're hosting Anna Maria Horner! She's on my favourite blog lists. Looking forward to the Q&A.

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  5. This book looks divine!!!!! As does all of Anna Maria's work.
    I would love the opportunity to get my sewing paws on this book ;-)

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  6. It does look like a stunning book, so many things I'd like to have a go at making.

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  7. That looks fantastic! I have so many friends with babies now...

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  8. I would love this book - my brother just had a little girl I would love to do some of this sewing for!

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  9. Wow, you made me want that book so bad! So many beautiful projects...

    stafish6(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  10. lovely thanks for the chance to win too :o) Hi Hazel!

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  11. Last time I lost something and could not find it again, it turned up in the dirty laundry bin. So, have you checked there yet? :-D

    The book sounds great!

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  12. Oh, yes please! Just from the pages you've shown, I'm hooked. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  13. I love those little trousers! And the casual dad with the bub slung so casually under the arm ;) I'd like to try my hand at making the little jacket. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  14. This book looks amazing, so many great ideas for babies but I do have my eyes on that quilt on the cover for myself =P Thanks for the chance to win!

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  15. Ohhhh, I love it! Pick me! So divine!

    genjackman (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  16. carolinejerniganMay 26, 2010 at 3:04 AM

    Id love to win!!!!

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  17. What an amazing book with so many great projects - fingers crossed to win! Thanks for the opportunity.

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  18. I have no idea what time it is in New Zealand time so I don't know if this is too late for the contest but I have to say, the the maternity clothes in the book are too cute. I may have to make it for maternity AND for non-maternity wearing :)

    LOVE this new book and I can't wait to get my hands on one!

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  19. Wow! what a comeback from a cold! book looks beautiful, I would love it.

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  20. I have been keeping my eye on this book and anticipating its publication!! I am so very excited to have a chance to win it!! I am looking to make my almost one year old son some new clothes!!

    sarahannchase@gmail.com

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  21. Oh it looks like a wonderful book. Thankyou for the giveaway

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  22. Thanks for hosting this super great giveaway!! I see this book now all over the net and I would loooooove to have it :)
    thanks again
    ooty.art@gmail.com

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  23. This looks wonderful. Even though I'm all done in the baby-making department (although that pic of the chubby kid looking at the clothes spinning is making me super-clucky), many of my friends are just beginning. The dress in that book also looks great for a non-pregnant person with a kinda preggie looking belly still!

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  24. I'd so love this book! Lucky you getting to review it :)

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  25. Please throw my name in the hat!

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  26. that book is so wonderful. am a new mum who is new to sewing i sure could make use of it.

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  27. pick me, hazel!! I'll make you a dog! hehe.

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  28. oh yes i often feel that we Aust and NZ folk get a bit left out! Glad I'm not the only one!
    Her work is just lovely. i would love, love, love to win a copy of this book!
    Thanks for the chance

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  29. I don't know where I would start with this book but I would love to win a copy. I might just have to think about having baby #3!

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  30. Rachel Vander MartinMay 27, 2010 at 1:14 AM

    this book is amazing!!!! I cannot wait to sink my teeth into all these wonderful projects!

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  31. carolinejerniganMay 27, 2010 at 1:49 AM

    I would love love love to win a copy of this book! :) Pick me, pick me!
    carojernigan@gmail.com

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  32. I would love to win this book, every project looks like so much fun to make!

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  33. I have Seams To Me and I love it, so naturally I really want to get my hands on this book too!

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  34. Wow, I love how each blog on the tour features different items from the book! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  35. I so want this book!

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  36. Would love to win the book! Tanks

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  37. oh i love those letters. i guess i "need" this book after all!

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  38. wow, that wall hanging set is so gorgeous... i need a reason to make one...

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  39. Beautiful, beautiful book! What a great way to spend the summer (making goodies for myself and new one in December).

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  40. Anna Maria Horner has created such a great book! I would love to add to my collection! Hope I win! cwestwick@hdkamerica.com

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  41. I am in LOVE with this book and am carrying my second child, so I am so excited!

    Brittanylhamman@gmail.com

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  42. Just found your DARLING blog through the book giveaway! What talent you have:) Thanks for sharing!!!

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  43. wow - a giveaway only for Australia & NZ! how exciting!!

    Would love to know where you put the ironed pieces - could they be caught in amongst folded fabric? I have done that a couple of times and it is absolutely dumb-founding - I lost keys at work a couple of days ago and they turned up in my pocket even though I had checked a number of times!

    I would so love to win a copy of this book - fingers crossed your precious random entry picker chooses me!!

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  44. I am OBSESSED with that Maternity Dress/Top! I NEED this book!! :) Thanks for the opp!
    whalen.sarah@gmail.com

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  45. Anna Maria has done it again - it looks like such a lovely book!

    (and I hope your cod is on ids way oud...id is now ere!)

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  46. Love to make some of the projects for my grand children

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  47. great book - boy would I love a copy! Baby girl is 2 months and I can see many fun projects for the "two" of us!

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  48. I love this! Thanks for the chance to win :)

    yumfree@gmail.com

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  49. I would love a copy of this book. It has so many cute ideas!

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  50. I'd love to win! I've been chasing the tour and am new here, but thanks for offering this!

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  51. The book looks awesome...
    mollyal@hotmail.com

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  52. I'd love to win! I've had my eye on this book.

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  53. I have been seeing this book EVERYWHERE for the last two weeks! And I WANT one! So badly.

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  54. Oh how I would love this book!!

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  55. It looks like such a lovely book!

    maxandellie at gmail dot com

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  56. I would love to sew this precious little creations for my little girls!

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  57. Thanks for the great review ... and the giveaway ... I'll definitely have to buy this one just for those booties alone!

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  58. Great little booties! I'm impressed that you tried them with a knit. Wow! So cute. Thinking I may need to get my hands on this book and make that maternity dress...even though I have only 4 weeks left. I could wear it all summer, right?! ;)

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  59. I'd Love love love love love to win this book! oh please please please pick me you little random number picker!

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  60. Would love to win a copy of this book! Thanks for the chance.

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  61. Great review, I'd love to win a copy as it looks fab!

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  62. Yeah! I saw your blog from Sew Liberated and I'm so happy I dropped by! I would love to be entered into your contest! I love your banner!
    Sarah M

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  63. I would love a copy of this book! Very exciting!

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  64. Please enter me into this giveaway. The book will be so nice to have as my niece is expecting. Thank you for the tour. mlwright29 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  65. I would love to win this book!!!

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  66. The book looks great!!

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  67. I'm expecting my first, and I'm so excited! These projects would be perfect. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  68. Can't wait to check out this book! There are a lot of projects I would love to make for my baby girl .....

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  69. Love the book and the litlle booties you made from it, they are gorgeous. Thanks for the opportunityto win a copy if I don't win I may have to buy a copy! Thanks Jacqui

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  70. Hi, I know what you mean about that jacket picture. I would love a copy of this book to make one for my friends daughter. I have actually already bought the fabric!

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  71. How cute was that baby mobile and shade.... hope hazel picks me, I'll be one happy sewer mamma if she (it?) does:)

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  72. I would love a chance to flip through those pages myself! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  73. knacker_love@yahoo.com loves this book like everything that Anna Marie designs! Just the perfect book for a grandma!!

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  74. Just the thing for a grandma. I love everything that Anna Marie designs!!

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  75. Wonderful giveaway!!!
    Is open to international readers? If so, count me in please. I would love to grab AMH book, there's a lot of beautiful patterns included (mom dress, diaper bag, little pants....all!). I hope to be mom next year and I have a lot to sew and not too much ideas. Thanks for the chance to win.Fingers crossed
    Kind regards,
    Elena :)
    lenarod8@yahoo.es

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  76. Oh my! I need this book - so many fabulous projects!

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  77. Margaret WiltshireMay 29, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    I would love to win a copy of this book, it looks awesome. I gave birth to my third (and last) daughter last Sat, so am in total clucky mode. I have made her a few things but if i can find the time would love to make more.

    Margaret Wiltshire

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  78. I love anna maria and her fabric. can't wait to get my hands on a copy of the book!

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  79. I love the little jacket pattern! And the stuff for mom's almost makes me want to get pregnant again! :)

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  80. Oh, I would love to win this great book!

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  81. Just found your site through Kiwi Mummy Blogs. Looking forward to reading more but would love the chance to win this gorgeous book. Thanks for the opportunity and inspiration.

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  82. what a cute book-lots of cute project!

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